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Jackson Hewitt vs. H&R Block: Which Is Right for You?

Last updated 05/10/2024 by

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Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block are two prominent names among tax preparation services, offering both in-person assistance and online filing options. This comprehensive comparison delves into the details of each service, including features, costs, and user experience, to help you make an informed decision for your tax filing needs.

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Jackson Hewitt vs. H&R Block tax prep

While preparing your tax returns online has become the norm for most taxpayers, some people prefer to have a professional help them with their taxes. Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block are two popular tax prep options that allow filers to get in-person tax return assistance. This can be useful for taxpayers who have complicated tax returns or those unfamiliar with the tax filing process. Both firms also offer online tax preparation options for taxpayers who feel more comfortable using a DIY approach.
“Taxpayers considering in-person vs. online services should assess reliability, customer support, and cost efficiency to choose the best fit for their needs.” — Joanna Clark-Simpson, head of consumer research at

Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt, headquartered in New Jersey, is one of the largest tax prep companies in the United States, processing around two million tax returns annually. The company provides two primary methods for filing taxes:
  • In-person assistance: With approximately 5,200 locations nationwide, including 2,600 within Walmart stores, Jackson Hewitt offers face-to-face consultations with tax professionals. Clients can choose to sit down with a tax preparer and provide necessary documents or opt for a drop-off service.
  • Online filing: For taxpayers who prefer the convenience of online tax preparation, Jackson Hewitt’s user-friendly software enables individuals to complete and file their returns digitally. The online platform offers step-by-step guidance, live chat support, and an accuracy checker.
Regardless of the filing method chosen, Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation services come with a range of guarantees, including the following:
  • Maximum refund guarantee: If a client receives a larger refund or a smaller tax bill with another tax prep company, Jackson Hewitt refunds their federal return fees plus an additional $100.
  • Lifetime accuracy guarantee: In the event of IRS audit-related penalties or interest charges resulting from an error in Jackson Hewitt’s software, the company covers the associated fees.
  • 24/7 access and year-round service: Clients benefit from round-the-clock access to their documents through online data storage, along with ongoing support beyond the tax season.

H&R Block

H&R Block operates in the United States, Canada, and Australia with a vast network of over 12,000 locations, approximately 9,000 of which are in the U.S. The company offers two primary methods for tax filing:
  • In-person assistance: Clients can choose to work with a tax professional through various channels, including face-to-face meetings, virtual consultations, or drop-off services.
  • Online filing: H&R Block’s online platform caters to individuals seeking a DIY approach to tax preparation. The software guides users through each section of their return and offers packages tailored to different tax situations.
Similar to Jackson Hewitt, H&R Block’s tax preparation services are backed by guarantees:
  • Max refund guarantee: If clients obtain a larger tax refund elsewhere, H&R Block refunds their tax filing fees.
  • No surprise guarantee: Clients are informed of their tax prep fees upfront, which ensures transparency and eliminates unexpected costs.

Comparison of online filing options

Jackson Hewitt’s online tax software prioritizes ease of use and accuracy. The platform offers seamless navigation, comprehensive instructions, and free live chat support to answer any questions. Users can access the software from both desktop and mobile devices, with an integrated accuracy checker to review returns before filing.
H&R Block’s online filing experience is similar to its competitor’s user-friendly approach. The software provides step-by-step guidance, customizable packages catering to different tax situations, and the option to upgrade for professional assistance if needed.

Cost comparison: Jackson Hewitt vs. H&R Block

When considering the cost of tax preparation, it’s essential to evaluate the overall value provided by each company. Jackson Hewitt typically offers competitive rates for in-person filing, but prices can vary by location. Most Jackson Hewitt offices are locally owned and operated, so each shop sets its own prices.
This means you’ll need to check with the Jackson Hewitt in your area to get exact pricing. Expect a base price for federal and state returns, with additional costs if you require more forms. If you choose to file online with Jackson Hewitt, they have a flat fee of $25 for both state and federal returns.
By comparison, H&R Block’s transparent pricing guarantee is standard across all locations. H&R Block charges a base rate starting at $85 for federal returns and $70 for state tax returns, though unless you have a very simple return, you should expect to pay more. When you sit down with a tax professional, they’ll go over your tax situation with you and find out exactly how much you’ll owe before you get started.
H&R Block’s online filing option allows clients to begin their tax return for free, with fees applied only upon filing. While initial costs vary based on the package you choose, additional charges apply for complex returns or upgraded packages. Aside from H&R Block’s free file option for simple returns, packages start at $35 for federal returns and $37 for state tax returns.

Pros and cons of Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block

The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of filing your taxes with Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block:
Some advantages and drawbacks to consider
  • Access to tax professionals for personalized assistance
  • User-friendly online platforms with comprehensive guidance
  • Service guarantees for accuracy and maximum refunds
  • Convenient access to physical locations for in-person assistance
  • Fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of tax returns
  • Jackson Hewitt costs vary by location
  • Higher cost for online tax filing through H&R Block

Preparing for tax filing

Depending on how complicated your tax situation is, you may have multiple documents that you either need to give to your in-person tax professional or have handy if you’re filling out your taxes online. It’s a good idea to make a checklist of everything you need and then store all of these documents in one place. The following are some examples of tax-filing documents you made need:
  • W-2s for all jobs that withhold taxes for you
  • Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, or other income statement for workers in the gig economy
  • Forms 1099 from banks, issuing agencies, and other payers including unemployment compensation, dividends, or distributions from a pension, annuity, or retirement plan
  • Form 1099-INT for interest received
  • Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement (if you have health insurance from
  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest
  • Form 1098 showing any mortgage interest, mortgage insurance premiums, and real estate taxes you paid during the tax year
  • Documentation from rental income
  • Documents related to any deductions or tax credits you may be eligible for
You’ll also need to make sure you have your Social Security number or tax ID number, any dependents’ information, and your bank account and routing number for direct deposits. Keep in mind that you can still get a paper check from the IRS if you prefer (or if you don’t have a checking account), but it is faster and safer to have your check deposited directly into your account.


Which company has more locations?

H&R Block boasts a larger network of locations compared to Jackson Hewitt, making it more accessible for in-person assistance.

Do both companies offer guarantees?

Yes, both Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block provide guarantees related to the accuracy of their services and the size of your refund.

Key takeaways

  • Both Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block offer a range of tax preparation services, including in-person assistance and online filing options.
  • The cost of in-person tax filing through Jackson Hewitt will vary by location, while H&R Block offers a base price across all its locations.
  • Jackson Hewitt offers online filing for a flat fee of $25 for federal and state returns, while H&R Block packages start at $35 for federal returns and $37 for state returns.
  • Ultimately, the decision of which service is better for you will depend on individual preferences, tax complexity, and the level of professional assistance desired.

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